The Reunion Committee meets to plan for the 50th – all decked out in their class tee-shirts!


It’s for real!  Our 50th reunion will happen May 14-17, 2020, thanks to the planning of these Uncommon Women: Barbara Cooke Monks, Jane Hiller Farran, Martha Doolittle McIver, Jill Brethauer, Mary Phinney, Ellen Cochran Hirzy, Judy Leno Case, Helen Diesenhaus’ Susan Ellis, Arleen McGrath Heiss, Katy Hart, and Jean Olson ( click on the picture and it will enlarge)


Letters from our Class President, Ann Richardson Berkey

July 2019

Dear Classmates:

The Class of 1969, formerly our Sophomore “elves”, just celebrated their 50th reunion on campus in May, and WE ARE NEXT! I hope you are making plans to join classmates, both old and new friends, for several memorable days together next May 2020.

Still Uncommon After All These Years: 

Our 50th reunion theme (above) and the dates we should all plan to be in South Hadley are hopefully on your calendar: Thursday, May 14 to Sunday, May 17, 2020! 

Your class board and reunion committee are deep into planning for those 4 days and we would love your ideas and involvement in making this the best 50th reunion ever! Our preliminary reunion weekend activities were listed in the March e-blast that all of you should have received. Please let me know if it did not pop up in your email and I will resend it to you. 

A couple of quick reminders:
1) We are looking for classmates who are authors and/or artists so we can highlight your work! Please send us your names or the names of classmates who have created art and/or written books. Our plan is to display photos of art in our reunion HQ dorm and perhaps books as well.
2) Topics under consideration for discussion in small and larger groups were also listed in our March e-blast. We would really appreciate your feedback and/or interest in attending or even moderating any of them!
3) Special requests for group physical activities? Walks? Yoga? Tennis or golf? We need a volunteer coordinator for athletic adventures.
4) Do you have a recommendation for a “common read” that we can discuss at reunion?
5) The Nominating Committee will be presenting a slate of officers for election at our reunion class meeting. We would appreciate your recommendations and hope you will consider including your own name!
6) We need volunteers for many reunion committees: Hospitality, Athletic Planning, Alumnae Parade, Memorial Service. This is a fun way to re-engage with classmates. Please let us know if you would be willing to help! 

To provide feedback and/or support in any of these areas, please reach out to our program chairs: 
Arleen McGrath Heiss 
Helen Disenhaus 

Or our reunion chairs:
Barbara Cooke Monks
Jane Hiller Farran
Yvonne Watford-McKinney


Boston area: Jean Olson and Barbara Kwetz Allan hosted a gathering with 11 other classmates at Jean’s home in Concord, MA in early June. Present were Linda Morehous Goodwin, Cindy Farkas Levinson, Becky Saylor Hadden, Marcia Peters, Stephanie Stiles, Stephanie Williston, Mary Phinney, Susan Hill McGinnis, Donna Wlodkoski Economou, Jill Blum Sherman and Susan Ellis. As Jean and Barb noted: “Spending time with classmates was a blast. Good conversations and smiles as we reminisced and reconnected. In between all the chatter, we sipped California wines, indulged in local tasty cheeses, grazed on a variety of other dishes and finished off with brownies from Becky and chocolate chip meringue cookies from Susan Ellis. The conversation was wonderful, a delightful preview of our coming reunion. We may host another gathering in the fall to allow others on our guest list (100 classmates within a 90-mile radius of Concord) to attend….”              

San Francisco area: I plan to host a brunch at my home in the Oakland Hills on Saturday, August 24, 2019, 11am – 2pm. Invitations will be sent by email to those of you in California, but I would be delighted to see any of you who may be traveling to the Bay Area at that time. Please mark your calendar and let me know if you can join us:

MHC Archives:

Are you downsizing or just cleaning out files, drawers and boxes? The Archives is looking for memorabilia from our years on campus, specifically photos, course syllabi, event programs, documentation of student organizations, class rings or other MHC-related jewelry, scrapbooks, and class newsletters. Information as to where and how to send it to them will be detailed in our fall newsletter. We will also plan to have a drop off “box” at reunion for those of you who can bring the items with you.

Junior Show:

Do you remember ours? We Could Save The World or Lighten Up, Get Yourself Together! Several members of our class attended this spring’s Junior Show, put on by our “Connections Class” of 2020. Their theme? Sadley Night Live, a takeoff on Saturday Night Live. Thanks to Carol Verberg, Judy Leno Case, Jean Olson, Linda Phelps Graves and Linda Morehous Goodwin who wrote a “copy”, created a slide show and shared material with them, the junior class included vignettes in their show from our years at MHC as well… 50 years later!

50th Reunion Class Gift

We are all working together on our 50th Reunion Class Gift to the College, and we are very grateful to those of you who are both continuing and new supporters of The Mount Holyoke Fund! The graphs below illustrate the growth of the funds raised and the increase in our class participation rate. As you know, gifts to The Mount Holyoke Fund go to work immediately to support the College and programs for students, including our own “Connections Class” of 2020.  

We are recruiting additional class agents for this year to help reach out to our classmates as we strive to exceed a 70% (for 1970!) participation rate. Please contact Susan Ellis or Martha Doolittle McIver if you can help. 

Why Come to Reunion? A message from Katy Hart, our class VP…

“There are probably as many reasons to attend our 50th as there are members of our class. We each have personal motivations that influence our decision. For me, it is our unique stories; where did we go and what did we do? At our mini-reunion in Monterey, CA, I was fascinated to discover how diverse our experiences have been. However, there are also social and institutional reasons to attend. This morning I read the painful news report of another small liberal arts college (Newbury in Newton, Mass.) that has closed its doors. I don’t think MHC is in danger, but the liberal arts are certainly suffering. It is difficult to defend them on purely economic terms. They teach, however, something that I consider very valuable to our social and economic success; that learning is a continuous process, that nothing happens in a vacuum and that we need to consider the impact of our actions on the lives of people near and far. So, for me, returning to MHC for our 50th Reunion is an affirmation of the social and economic value of a liberal arts education.”

Staying Connected

Our Class Webpage:

Facebook: Keep up with news of your classmates! We have our own class Facebook page: Mount Holyoke Class of 70. You can also contact Jill Vollmer Blackwood to join. 

Deadline for Class Notes in the Quarterly: July 15.
 Please send your news to Diane Mayer Murphy or Ellen Cochran Hirzy.

Alumnae Directory: Please make sure your email address in the Alumnae Directory is current! You can select the type of mailings you want to receive. Most importantly, we do not want you to miss any of our reunion planning updates.

I hope to reconnect with many of you as I continue my travels around the country and encourage all of you to do the same. Check out past photos and meetings I have had with classmates on our website or just send me an email to let me know how you are doing. Thank you for staying in touch; my goal is for all of us to reconnect or remain connected in this phase of our lives. We have much to share.

Warm wishes to all of you for a summer of good health, new adventures, special moments with family and friends, and joy in living!


Ann Richardson Berkey
Class President

March 2019

Dear Classmates:

We are using our once/year Alumnae Association funded mailing to get this newsletter out to all of you, even those for whom we do not have any email addresses. A gentle reminder, please: our 50th reunion is only 15 months away. Please provide your email address on the Alumnae Association website so you won’t miss any of our reunion updates.

Still Uncommon After All These Years:

Our 50th reunion theme (above) and the dates we should all plan to be in South Hadley are now finalized: Thursday, May 14 to Sunday, May 17, 2020.  Please mark your calendars!

Your class board and reunion committee want this to be the ideal reunion that you and all of our classmates will be eager to attend. So here are some of the preliminary ’70 activities planned, which are in addition to campus-wide Reunion I events.

Thursday: Following our Welcome New Alumnae Ceremony with the senior class, we will have a kick-off dinner that you won’t want to miss in a private room in the new Dining Commons, aka “SuperBlanch.”  We have invited a terrific faculty member to speak, who was the unanimous choice of those of us who heard him at the fall planning conference.

Friday: We are hoping to highlight the literary and artistic achievements of our classmates during the weekend. One possibility is to have a panel of class authors at our Friday luncheon. If you would like to participate, please let us know. We will also have space to display photographs of your art projects, and hope to schedule some special class event at the Art Building. The Alumnae Association and the Office of Advancement will host us for dinner that evening at Willits-Hallowell Conference Center.

Saturday: There will be time to meet as a class to elect officers and, especially, to remember our classmates who have died. In addition to the Alumnae Parade and Picnic, we will have a special 50th reunion class dinner that night in Chapin.

Under consideration for Friday and Saturday are both general and smaller group discussions, some of which will occur in our Class HQ dorm. Topics that have been mentioned include:

  • Still Uncommon After All These Years: what does that mean?
  • A Book Group session either focusing on a book announcement in advance (suggestions?) and/or on sharing recommendations
  • Travel: both sharing experiences and info and meeting possible future travel companions
  • Diversity at MHC: Then and Now
  • Health Issues and Finding Answers
  • Embracing Change and the Next Phase of our Lives
  • Dealing with Loss
  • The Writing Life
  • Creating Art
  • Downsizing Joyfully
  • Whereto Next (Relocating)
  • Sharing Our Stories…or just friendly chat
  • Future Class Activities: online book discussions, mini-reunions, local gatherings

Do any of these interest you? Do you have other suggestions? Would you be willing to moderate a small group?

We also want to ensure that there are opportunities for physical activity for classmates and their guests at the gym, on the tennis courts and golf course, as well as free time to just experience the beauty of our campus in May (we hope without the snow we had on the last day of our final exams in 1967!).  What activities interest you? What else would you like to see included?

As you can tell, we are continuing to think through ideas for substantive andfun activities that will appeal to all of you, so please reach out to our program chairs (Arleen McGrath Heiss and Helen Disenhaus) with an offer to get involved and/or to help generate or execute ideas!

Also available are our three reunion chairs:
Barbara Cooke Monks
Jane Hiller Farran
Yvonne Watford-McKinney

Alumnae Awards:

In preparation for our 2020 reunion, we all have the opportunity to recommend one or more classmates for an Alumnae Award. The awards are made in two categories: internal and external. The internal ones are for service to the College, the class and/or the Alumnae Association. The external awards are for professional or community services. All professions have changed radically since we graduated and many of us have been part of that revolution. The community service given by just a few of the women we know from our class is impressive. So please consider making one or more recommendations!

There are two links: one to the alumnae page describing the awards and one to our class website listing previous award winners. The alumnae page includes a link to submit a recommendation. All recommendations must be submitted by July 1, 2019.

50th Reunion Class Gift

A part of our reunion involves our 50th Reunion Class Gift, which represents the sum of our financial contributions to the College since our 45th reunion. It includes our annual gifts to the Mount Holyoke Fund as well as other forms of donations such as endowments and bequests. The total is important, and so is the participation rate. We are excited to share that, to date, 55% of our class has committed to donate!

Every three new donors or pledges raise our graphic up another point. We would like to increase our participation rate to at least 70% …for the Class of 1970, of course! Our current year’s MHFund participation rate of only 28% will hopefully be boosted by classmates who responded to the College’s FebruMary Challenge and others who make new gifts this spring to support those uncommon women who have come after us.

We are very grateful for your support in this endeavor!

Class of 1970 Dues

Dues to our class are separate and apart from any contributions you are making to the College. Jill Brethauer, our Class Treasurer, hopes to collect dues from more classmates to fund class mailings and reunion “extras,” including scholarships for classmates who cannot otherwise afford to attend. Checks should be sent to Jill at 4046 Dickey Road, Gibsonia, PA 15044. The amount requested is $20/year or $100 for the five years between reunions. If you have questions about whether you have given, please contact Jill. Thank you!

Staying Connected

With special thanks to Holly Harkness Clark for her thoughts about reconnecting with classmates:

“I participated in the DC mini reunion and it was outstanding in both programming and in opportunities for conversations and for sharing life experiences with classmates.  I attended solo from afar (Colorado!) and felt at home with others from our class, both familiar and new acquaintances.  It was invigorating and inspirational to hear about our unique journeys, choices and struggles since our shared South Hadley days.  I am looking forward to a continuation of this sharing at the 50th reunion!”

And thank you to Sharon Murray Lorenzo who has written a wonderful profile on Nancy Thorndike Greenspan, which is attached here and also available on our class Facebook page and our class website.  Thank you, Sharon and Nancy!

Our class webpage:

Facebook:  Keep up with news of your classmates! We have our own class Facebook page: Mount Holyoke Class of 70. You can also contact Jill Vollmer Blackwood to join.

Deadline for Class Notes in the Quarterly: April 15.  Please send your news to Diane Mayer Murphy or Ellen Cochran Hirzy.

Alumnae Association website: Check out “Find Your People” and add or update your email address! You can select the type of emails you would like to receive. 
I hope to reconnect with many of you as I continue my travels around the country! Check out past photos and meetings I have had with classmates on our website.

As spring begins to peek around the corner and we emerge from winter clothes and hours of darkness, I wish each of you good health and opportunities for new adventures!  


Ann Richardson Berkey
Class President

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50 Reasons to Attend Our 50th Mount Holyoke College Reunion: May 14-17, 2020


50 Reasons to Attend Our 50th Mount Holyoke College Reunion
Because you can . . .
1. Enjoy your first Mount Holyoke reunion
2. Continue your own tradition of always coming to reunion
3. Celebrate our 50th, even if you haven’t been to every one
4. Be energized and inspired by extraordinary and intelligent women
5. See old friends
6. Meet new friends—the classmates you didn’t even know in college
7. Look for like-minded travel companions
8. Share advice and stories about moving into the next stage of our lives
9. Remember classmates who are no longer with us
10. Talk about significant issues of the day
11. Find support from friends for challenging life transitions
12. Meet the brave spouses and partners who have embraced MHC
13. Say yes to a personal invitation from a classmate who is helping with reunion     efforts
14. Make a confidential request for financial assistance to cover reunion expenses
15. Talk with President Sonya Stephens at the reception just for us at the President’s House
16. Enjoy the great dining options in the Dining Commons in “Super Blanch”—the new Community Center
17. See the shimmering Dale Chihuly sculpture in the Library atrium
18. Take a walk around Upper Lake—a living laboratory for the MHC Restoration Ecology Program’s Project Stream
19. Indulge in the official MHC ice cream flavor—M&C’s
20. Acquire that Mount Holyoke t-shirt or mug you’ve been craving.
21. Experience the Art Museum’s collection and latest exhibition
22. Explore new and renewed campus buildings, and learn about MHC’s Environmentally Responsible Building program.
23. Visit MHC’s cultural gathering spaces—Betty Shabazz Cultural Center (the oldest, founded in 1968), Jeannette Marks Cultural Center, Zowie Banteah Center, Asian Center for Empowerment, and Eliana Ortega Center
24. Gaze at evening skies from Williston Observatory (the oldest academic building on
campus, by the way)
25. Marvel at the towering copper beech tree, still standing next to Dwight
26. Take in the beauty of the campus from an Adirondack chair on Skinner Green
27. Hear the familiar sound of the Westminster chimes in the Mary Lyon Hall clock tower
28. Discover how ideas are becoming reality in the Fimbel Maker and Innovation Lab
29. Take a tour of the President’s House
30. Canoe on Upper Lake again
31. Visit your library carrel
32. Get over the fact that you didn’t do well in organic chemistry
33. Go uptown to the Odyssey Bookshop—also home of the Campus Store
34. Find our class tree
35. Relax with tai chi every morning
36. Play a round of golf at The Orchards
37. Take a guided tour of the Talcott Greenhouse (and buy a plant on Sunday)
38. Talk with our Connections class of 2020 about their MHC experience
39. Meet our class artists and authors
40. Attend Back-to-Class sessions taught by MHC faculty members
41. Identify with reunion parade signs that tell our “uncommon women” story
42. Line the path to the laurel chain draped on Mary Lyon’s grave, sing “Bread and Roses,” and send graduates off to take on the world
43. Welcome our Connections class of 2020 to the Alumnae Association with blue lion scarves in a scarfing ceremony
44. Sing the Alma Mater at the Alumnae Association annual meeting—but which version?
45. Experience a Japanese tea ceremony at the traditional teahouse in Eliot House.
46. Attend department at-homes on Saturday afternoon
47. Sing with other alumnae in the Commencement Concert—or listen from the audience.
48. Hear our featured speaker on Thursday night—Jon Western, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty
49. Experience this once-in-a-lifetime event
50. Know that there’s no reunion without you!
Still Uncommon After All These Years!

Thursday, May 14–Sunday, May 17, 2020

Have you seen our Facebook page?

Search for Mount Holyoke Class of 70 on your Facebook search line and submit your name (as it appears on your personal Facebook page) for membership in the column to the right side of the current posts.  You will be accepted and then you’ll be able to invite other Class of 70 friends to join. It is a great way for us Uncommon Women to keep in touch and to keep abreast of 50th Reunion plans. Your class Reunion Committee needs current e mail addresses in order to keep you in the loop. If you have recently changed your e mail or are not getting the quarterly class E–Blasts,  please send your e mail address to Jill Vollmer Blackwood at